Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

Hello All:

Just wanted to pop by to wish you all a very Happy Happy Happy New Year!

I have spent the last few days off work cleaning up all the Christmas decorations and cleaning house. That includes getting into the work studio to clean and sort and get everything prepared for the 2014 bears! Now that the holidays are nearly over and a new year soon upon us I wanted to have everything ready to get strait to work! I have several bears ready to sew and even a few heads ready to stuff! This is always an exciting time to see what and who will be born this year!

I wish you all good health, love and lots of laughter and prosperity this coming year! May your family be safe and blessed and joy ring out to close off this year of 2013! New beginnings are possible for anyone who seeks them... remember you are worthy of love and joy and I am grateful to know you!

Many Blessings

Friday, December 6, 2013

Missed something fun...

Hi all:

 I just got notice this morning reminding me that I have also been accepted for another online show in the early spring... I just simply had to mention it as I forgot it in my last post (yesterday).

Just so you all know, and I don't forget again... lol, I will also be exhibiting in the Spring Bear Hugs 4 U show from March 7th to 9th. It seems crazy to be planning for these shows already when I am still thinking about Christmas of this year but... I am meticulous about my work and dislike being rushed so I have begun cutting one bear as of last night, sewing the first bear of 2014 will begin shortly and as you may have read in the last post... the new design of my open mouth, padded pawed bear is almost completed. I will finish the new pattern today... I hope!

So thrilled to be able to share this new news with you today about another show... I just cannot wait to see who comes to life in the new bears this year!

Any ideas on what to base the new bears names on this year? I have done Downton Abby this year and in past years I have done chocolate, candy, Fringe (TV show but only in part) and more... I love picking a theme so if you would like to see names from something you love send me a comment and I will take it under advisement! Thanks for your input!

I was thinking maybe Coronation Street this year but who knows... looking forward to your ideas!

Big Hugs and I will be back soon with news and pictures.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Year Book 2013

The year book is almost complete. Today or tomorrow I will take the last photo of the last bear for this year.

Although the year was challenging with health issues with Jase etc we have pulled through it and are looking forward to the new year to come. It is only now that I am beginning to feel a sense of catching up and hope to maybe even get ahead with the gift wrapping and glide effortlessly into Christmas. It's a hope but I'm not holding my breath. I am further ahead than I have been all year which is a satisfying and delightful feeling.

Each year I create a year book of the bears I created that year and this year it took me until yesterday to get it near completion. I look back often on my books to see where it all began and compare it to where I am at today. This year there was a definate change in my bears. I love the new design and feel my work improved dramatically over the last few years.

A collector approached me at one of my shows this year and said... "you always do something different don't you?" I have heard that collectors might not like change but honestly... this is only going to be my fifth year creating bears. I know in the past I have talked extensively on the subject of finding "your" look when making bears and for some it comes immediately. For me however I wanted to try all that I was capable of before choosing an image for Seraphim Bears. I wanted to wet my feet in many ponds before I chose which one to swim in. I feel I am there now.. my bears have a distinctly different look to anyone else. Their body shape is simply adorable with their big fat bellies. They have personal touches that relate to me like their heart pockets and lucky Canadian pennies which will forever remind me and all my collectors of the experience I had of being diagnosed with my heart condition, making it through and wanting to share the luck with everyone I can. The bears have reached a place where I feel they are simply scrumptious and that is what I wanted to achieve. A bear that is unique to me and distinctly mine.

But that does not mean I am not going to try new things and take new avenues with the bears. That simply means I know the street I live on now... I know what I love and what I want to share with the world. So what are the plans for the coming year?

2014 will hold new adventures... I hope all good ones and fun ones! I have already begun to created an open mouth bear pattern with trapunto padded feet. These bears will be in the same pattern that I have spent the last four years creating ~ the Over Hugged style of Seraphim Bear. The new Huggy Baby bears will still remain a part of my line up as well as I love the freedom these dolly faced bears offer me.

I will be a part of the Teddies Worldwide online show in the spring and hope this will be the event for the release of the new open mouth bear... I hope. I will be attending the Binghamton show TBAI and have received confirmation of my theme for my gallery bear... I can't quite share that one in full detail but I can tell you my character is dear to my heart and I have been a fan for most of my life. I studied this person extensively over the years and am so looking forward to creating a bear in this persons likeness. The theme for this years show is "Rear View Mirror" and the theme in part that I have chose is Hooray for Hollywood. I cannot wait to get started on this bear!

Each year, we as artists, have a last piece... a piece that closes off the year for us. This year my last bear is super special... Last year I gave a bear to each of my aunts (except one whom... wasn't at the Christmas celebrations but I have not forgotten her) and my cousin Monica also received a bear as well as my Mother In Law and Step mother. After the festivities were completed I noticed a not so happy face in the group. It was my cousin Richard. He is a big lad and already in University. When I approached him to see what was the matter he meekly replied that all was well. Then it hit me... "Oh my God" I said "Did you want a bear?" He looked down at me and smiled and said "Yes please." It was the sweetest thing ever, this big man telling me he wanted one of my bears too. So this year, my last bear was created especially for him. He is all that I could have hoped him to be. He is big, fat and fabulous. He has touches of harlequin and carnival and has a name fit for a knight. I cannot tell you any more than that and of course, I cannot share a photo until after the holidays just in case he comes to read my blog. It's okay... if he finds out here that he is getting his bear... he still has to unveil him. The bear even has a growler... a feature that will forever remind me of my grandmother as she always put a growler in her bears.

So that's it... all that is left to be done is to take the photos of my last bear for this year and add them into the Year Book. Then it's off to print with the book and there will be another year to look back and reflect on. This year I created 34 bears and most have found homes with the exception of  a few Huggy Babies and one wee bear. In total I have now created 163 bears! Whoowhoo!

Soon my post will be talking of the first bear of a New Year... but for now... it is a time of reflection. of contemplation of what is yet to come. A time to snuggle on the couch with my puppies and family under big fluffy blankets while the snow falls outside our windows and a time to quietly design for a the coming year.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for a wonderful year; for your support through my time with Jase and our cancer scare, for your adoptions and for your comments throughout the year that are always so very precious to me. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone...I will be back with more before the new year but this is my BIG message to end off this year... my Hallmark moment... now it's onto fun and getting to know me stuff.

Big Hugs

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wonderful show - Thank you all!

Hello All

Just really wanted to stop in here to Thank EVERYONE who stopped by the Teddies Worldwide Christmas Treasures show this past weekend. All but one of my bears found new homes and I am so grateful for that. One has already been shipped and three others have taken advantage of the layaway plans that I always have available! I am so happy that those plans seem to help out. I simply cannot wait for all the bears to meet their new Mom's!

The show was a huge success and as always Daphne and Frank executed the show flawlessly. With the loss of the Canadian Bear show these online shows are so appreciated.

Big Hugs to all and I will be back soon. I want to change the things we talk about here on the blog... I plan to share more about me and possibly more about the bears too but mostly I want you to have a chance to get to know me a bit more personally.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Teddies Worldwide online show now open!!!

The Teddies Worldwide show is not open and already three Seraphim Bears have found their new forever homes! Still looking for homes are the following:

Barnum who is a MOHAIR harlequin bear (I forgot to write the material in the show description)

Henry who is a viscose bear:

Zita who is a Mohair Huggy Baby:

And Kai who is a boy Huggy Baby Bear:

Three bears have been adopted already! Thank you for the adoptions of,

Holly, Nugent and Gwen!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and are enjoying the show!!!

Teddies Worldwide Christmas Treasures

Last show of 2013

Hello All; 

Today I am posting my latest Newsletter here on my blog... Please sign up for my Newsletter so you can be the first to know in the future as I usually do not post Newsletter information on my blog. But today I thought this Newsletter needed to reach as many people as possible!

 It is hard to believe but the shows for 2013 are wrapping up! This will be Seraphim Bears last show for the year and I am thrilled to be ending it with the Teddies Worldwide show this weekend.

For me and many other Canadian bear artists it was a sad but hopeful show at Teddy Bears on Vacation when it was announced that there would be no show in 2014 for Canada. Mark and Susan McKay have gone back to the drawing board to see what can be done to reinvent the show and we all have our fingers crossed that something will be done but the show will never be the same as it was over the past years. It may be a show that includes bears and focuses on bears as a main factor but it will not be a true bear show. It may included other artists in different media that include bears in some format in their work. I hope this will be an exciting change and will get us attention for a brighter future and choose to look at it in that way. There will always need to be change in order to succeed. We have seen the onset of several online bear shows now that reach 100's of countries and even our competitions now are including photography contests for those who cannot attend the shows. Collectors across the board still fee they want a place to touch and feel the bears and meet the artists in person and that is why we desperately need our REAL shows. But it is my opinion that we also desperately need our online shows which give each of us, no matter where we live, a chance to reach out and meet, via email, an artist of our dreams and an opportunity to own one of their bears. Right now may not simply be a new step that is a fad as I have heard some collectors say... online shows may be the way of the future. If we want to keep the Teddy Bear as an original art form in the public eye and try to reach out to the new generation, we need to follow suit and try to reach them in a hip new way! People like Daphne Towle (Teddies Worldwide) and Dolores Austin ( Bear Hugs 4 U) are taking the steps required to make this a reality. Much like a "real" bear show, there should be no competition between show organizers... as at this point... we as a bear collective need all the outlets we can get. If we all work together to step out of our comfort zones we can hopefully SAVE THE BEARS so to speak!

Seraphim Bears has made a commitment to this industry for many years now and I hope to be able to continue to do so whether in Canada or not. The online shows provide me as an artist an outlet to continue to reach out to collectors across the world as I cannot travel as far as some. We still help to run a family business here in our town and I also have a commitment to my family and must be here. I do not have the luxury of travelling often as many of the Teddy Bear Artists do so the loss of our Canadian show was a real hit for me but I am still in this for the long haul. Seraphim Bears will continue to do approximately 2 online shows per years (possibly more, depending on sales) and will make every effort to travel to one show per year in person in the USA (most likely Binghamton, NY as I can drive there).

I wanted to send out this Newsletter to thank the show coordinators for their efforts in the past and for our futures. It takes a lot of innovation to look past what has always been done and have the courage to try something new. I too have put on my thinking cap over the years and tried my best to give my input to Mark McKay on ideas that may work for a future show and although I considered being the one to take over this new adventure, I have to be logical; with the commitment of the family business, my husband's recent cancer scare and a future for us now of checkup's every 6 months plus my recent heart condition diagnosis... it is just not possible right now for me to take on this role. I will always be here to help but cannot be the main coordinator.

I am making the same New Years Eve resolution I have made every year for years; I will continue to make beautiful creations be it bears or Huggy Baby bears or something new in hopes of touching someones heart and brightening someones day! I will continue to create my bears in the most professional way using the best materials and I will continue to make the adoption of a Seraphim Bear a full and enlightening experience with beautiful packaging and wee surprises included with each adoption. This has been my commitment to the industry and will be my commitment for as long as I can sew and design. I will continue to support the Teddy Bear Magazine industry by taking out ad space and reaching out to collectors in that way. I will travel when I can and support the new innovation of the online bear show by taking out virtual space with our online coordinators as often as I can. I will also always be here to help another bear artist in any way I can. This is my resolution for 2014 and the unforeseen future.

So... now....

TODAY begining at 4:00pm New York time or Eastern Standard time please join me and the many other bear artists at the Teddies Worldwide online bear show Christmas Treasures! The show will run from November 15 to November 17th! This will be a glorious show as Daphne and Frank always put in such a lot of time preparing for each show as do all of the artists involved. Here is your link to the show:

This will be my last show this year and I cannot wait to share the bears and Huggy Baby bears that I have created for this show. Holly that you see above is my gallery bear and has been created out of alpaca. All Seraphim Bears have a nice fat belly and beautiful profile... lots of honey in those bellies... heehee. All of her leaves are each handmade and quilted and each leaf has a Swarovski crystal. Thank you to all of you who took the time to vote for your favourite bears in the two categories - winners will be announced at the show opening!

Have a glorious weekend at the show everyone and thank you for taking the time to read my newsletters and including Seraphim Bears in your experience of the Artist Teddy Bear!

Michele Seraphim and the Seraphim Bears

Friday, October 18, 2013

It has begun! The Bear Hugs 4 U show has now begun as of noon today! Seraphim Bears has two bears left to offer you and one Huggy Baby who is a Halloween beauty!

Here is your link to join me and all the other very talented artists at this show...

Bear Hugs 4 U - OctoBEARfest

Hope to see you there!!!

Have a great show and a wonderful weekend everyone!

Cullen is looking for his new forever home... he is beautifully plump and offers a nice weighty hug. His little personality packs a big punch full of love!

Monday, October 14, 2013

This FRIDAY is the first bear show for Seraphim Bears this holiday season...

Holidays season starts for me in the Fall as I love Halloween!

This Friday I will be participating in the Bear Hugs 4 U online show. You can find your link here or in my sidebar.

 I will have 4 bears and one Huggy Baby to offer you this show and I am sooo excited to share them all with you!

Hope to see you there...

Here is your preview bear: Barrett

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Better Late Then Never!

It's Official... Seraphim Bear will be exhibiting in both Bear Hugs 4 U OctoBEARfest teddy bear online show and Teddies Worldwide online show. One in October and one in November! I have got some work to do!

I was up working last night until 11:00pm and the bear bag will be travelling with me to work each and every day just in case I get a moment to work on creations for the up and coming shows. Getting asked to be a part of the shows late has its challenges but I love the pressure and this is when I really put the grease to the wheels and get some artistic stuff done!

Last night this little gal was adopted. Thank you and please meet Daisy!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Drum Roll Please... and the new name is:

Just wanted to share with you the new name for the Seraphim Bears ~ "Dolly Bears"...

If you missed the previous post please see below. Although Dolly Bear is a sweet name we do not want to cause any confusion as to who is who. So we have decided that although my Dolly Bears are spelt differently this is not enough of a distinction between my creations and another artists so, we have taken the path to change our name.

Actually in the end... we are happier with the new name... it encorporates the bear "hug" and think it suits both our original hang tags and the dolly bears themselves...

Drum roll please...

Welcome the Huggy Babies ~

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A rose by any other name...

Hi Everyone

I have arrived back home safely and now it is time to get to work on some new bears for the Teddies Worldwide online Christmas show. I almost sold out of my bears this show and only have a few left but will be posting them up onto Bear Pile in the next few days.

While at the show, I was approached by another artist who informed me of the fact that she has PATENTED the name "Dollie Bear". I do not spell my name this way nor am I from the USA where the patent exists however, after consult with my husband we will be changing the name to something far more interesting and fun. Although the names are not spelled the same, we do not wish to have any confusion in association with this artists bears...
so this is simply a heads up that Seraphim Bears name for our new edition to our line will soon be changing. I'll keep it as a surprise... it is a fabulously fun name and I think you will all enjoy it.

There were only a couple of us at this show making this style of bear and I do not wish anyone to be confused so the artist that I am referring to has the initials L.C.

Thanks so much for your understanding in this sudden change of name.

And as to the new style of doll bear I am referring... they simply flew off the table and we are so thrilled that you all love them as much as we do! I cannot wait to share more of them with you!

Big Hugs
Michele Seraphim

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Almost Show Time

With the help of Cindy Malchoff (our show coordinator and fellow artist) it has now been finalized that Mum and I will not have to move to a different hotel! So happy to hear this for Mum! I am sorry to hear that this comes at the price of one of our guests having to cancel their trip to the show.

We are looking forward to our trip and have had a full car tune up which is a good thing too as there were some issues. Passports are in order, suitcase is packed and Mum will be here in just one and a half days!

I am excited to meet everyone and see all my old friends at the show and so sad that I will miss my friend Cheryl Hutchinson from Bingle Bears who has prior commitments this year with family. We have still not seen each other in person since our bear exchange and I still want to give her a hug! Ahhh well... maybe next year or possibly the year after!

Hay, did I mention that I am now going to be in the Teddies Worldwide Christmas online show? How fab! I love that show! It will be the next show I am beginning to work on when I arrive back from Binghamton!

Well... I guess that is all the news for now... I will have my camera with me and hope to take lots and lots of wonderful photos in Binghamton and will be posting them here upon my return so be sure to check back soon!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hotel for Binghamton TBAI Show... Oh Oh?

So tell me... when the director of sales from a hotel that you have had booked for 6 months contacts you personally 2 weekends before your arrival and 1 week after you have called to confirm your reservations calls you and leaves a message for you to contact them personally within two days... this can't be good right?

TBAI Binghamton, NY

Hello Everyone:

So it's been a long time but honestly we have had a fun and wonderful summer.

This past Tuesday was our 8 year wedding anniversary and we had a fabulous date night ~ with dinner and a movie.... a scary movie too ~ The Conjuring! Had a bit of trouble sleeping that night! LOL. Then the next morning I woke to find our neighbor across the way was having an auction sale and so I spent the next day back and forth from work to there and managed to get some great props.

As some of you may or may not know... my hubby and I started our Photography business now and things are going as expected. It's only been a few months and it will take time but so far our customers are happy and loving their images. We have found a fabulous printer that carries fun products that we will soon offer to our clients too but ... I am guessing you all don't really want to hear too much more about that. I'll have to start a Rees & Rees Photography Blog for all my snappy ramblings about that.

As for the bears... I went into a bit of a lull with them. I am out of it however and have been working hard to get the bears ready for Binghamton, NY TBAI show! As always I will be attending the show with Mum and we are really looking forward to it! It is my favorite show that I attend and we have not been there since 2011. With all that happened to me with my heart diagnosis and then my husbands cancer diagnosis... well, it's been a long 2 years but happily we are both well so I heard the call of little bears once again!

For those of you who get Teddy Bear and Friends magazine, you may have seen the beautiful Talullah a new Dolly Bear and I am excited to say that there will be not one, not two but three Dolly Bears with me in Binghamton! They are absolutely one of my favorites and seem to be making hearts sing when our customers at the brewery have seen me there working on them. They are sweet and full of warmth and expression. I hope you too will all enjoy them.

The theme this year for the TBAI show is "Just Imagine" and my Gallery Bear is called Pink Shoelaces. I imagine that in 1959 Dooley would have been having a fabulous time dancing in his Tan Shoes and Pink Shoelaces... are you all lost or do you remember this fabulous song?

I just love this little video that this cute couple made to this song ~ Anyway... I hope you will love Pink Shoelaces as much as I do. I made his Panama hat, polka-dot vest, tan shoes and pink shoelaces myself as well as the little gal that comes with Dooley! I hope he makes the zoo a little pocket change!

I hope to see some of you at the show... this is going to be one of the few shoes I do this year. However if possible I will start to put my bears up on Bear Pile again. I was invited back to Silly Bears but with all that is going on with the new Photography biz I was unable to make the commitment to their schedule so for now it's going to be just me and you and there bears right here through Seraphim Bears with the exception of some forums dedicated to the bears. 

I cannot wait to show you the line up for the TBAI... I think they are very sweet indeed. Now for the long drive to New York State and the hassle of crossing boarders etc. Once we arrive there however... let the fun begin! It's 3 full days of fun with absolutely ever single minute crammed to the second with friends and events! I am truly looking forward to it!

Be back soon with more photos!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Waiting for me?

Hello all... okay so I know it's been a really long time since I posted! Sorry! Truly I wish I had more hands to do it all but I don't and because I do everything the best I can I had to be absent from this page for a bit! My hubby and I have launched our new photography biz and what with building a website, promotion, studying, getting my equipment together etc... it's been busy. Also as many of you know my husband was diagnosed with cancer this spring... so we needed to focus and deal with all the stress and those issues first also. He has had two surgeries and is now cancer free... which is how this photography decision all got started to begin with. You know... when you are reminded of how short life is, when you are given a warning shot, you look really good and hard at your life and what you are doing with it and in it. It was brought to our attention that with his graphic arts and my skills with a camera... we should really think about doing what we love more often... and that turned into... well maybe we should do this as a career... and so we are going for it! So far we are loving every single day working together at creating this business and hope to do so for many years to come. Now don't get worried... the bears are going to be a part of my life forever so this little... long post is just to let you know that I'm still here and actually have about 7 or so bears almost ready for the Binghamton, NY show in August and I hope to have one or two up for adoption on Bear Pile in July... that's only a few days away. So thank everyone for being so patient and just know that I will have something to show you really soon...

Big Hugs. Michele Seraphim.

PS. You can visit our new photography Facebook page Rees & Rees Photography Facebook Page


website Rees & Rees Photography

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tai Rosie: Based on the novel ~ Water For Elephants

Hello Everyone:

It's been a while I know! I do apologize! My hubby had a cancer scare and it's been a whirl wind of a two month period! He was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma and then had to have a second biopsy to hopefully remove any remaining cancer! After chest xrays and blood tests we finally received word yesterday that he is cancer free! A day of celebration as you can imagine! I just could not face my blog until today! In the words of Cindy Crawford "You can not multi task presence" and I needed to be there for him and me!

But today I have a very special piece to offer you: Her name is Tai Rosie and she is currently available for adoption on Bear Pile!

She is a hand dyed viscose ellie that is nicely aged and weighted with steel shot! She is 5 way jointed and stuffed with polyfil. She has a tail and a belly "button" as do all Seraphim Bears creations.

This little ellie is 8" tall and is currently in an art gallery in a local near by town. Her adoption fee will be split and a portion of the proceeds will go to the local library to help keep literature alive! This is why this piece was created based on a novel: Water For Elephants and you will also receive the novel with your adoption!

Tai Rosie will come with a handmade box, also created by me out of archival papers and images of roses! The top of the box is cork and is finished with a pretty crystal embellishment. You can read and see more on Bear Pile: Tai Rosie on Bear Pile

Here she is: Welcome Tai Rosie

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Teddies Worldwide Teddy Bear EXTRAVAGANZA

Hello Everyone: Seraphim Bears will have SIX never before seen bears this weekend beginning Friday March 22nd at 4:00pm NEW YORK - Eastern Standard time! Here is your link for the show:


This is the preview bear for Seraphim Bears: Her name is Roselyn and you can place your votes for your favourite bear on the Teddies Worldwide site until March 22 at noon!

 The show ends on March 24th!

Wishing you all a very wonderful weekend and I hope you enjoy the show!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Top O The Mornin To Ya

Hello Everyone;

Just wanted to send you all a little greeting for St. Patrick's Day!

Hoping your Day is filled with full glasses, laughter and lots and lots of wonderful greens!

Tip: If you are using any food colouring today to make your delights green, a drop of yellow will brighten things up and a drop of blue will cool things down! 

So whether your day is Bright and cheerful or Deep and sultry we here at Seraphim Bears hope you have a wonderful day!

 Big Hugs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We'll be there 2014!

Some time ago I purchased a picture frame thinking that one day I would sit down and put photos of my grandmother, grandfather, my uncle Peter and Mum into the frame. I hoped to get all the photos together that I could of them all in England before moving to Canada.

A little while back my Mum did send me a CD with some images on it that I have not even put into my computer to look at as yet... It just didn't seem right for some reason.

But now I know what will be put into that frame...and I will be a part of it!

Last night Mum and I made the final decision and now I want to share it with you! We have decided to take a trip to England and I have now also confirmed that I will indeed be invited to exhibit at the September Huggets show 2014!

I will be in the UK for approximately 10 days to do the show and to meet my relatives as well as do a bit of sight seeing!

I know for some of you this is "old hat" but for me... there is nothing at all familiar about this. I am not a big fan of flying and this will be the longest flight I have ever been on. I have never been to "Where my ROOTS are" so this will be a first for me too. I have met a few of my relatives when they came here occasionally but never been to their homes, so that will be a first, never been away from my husband for that long either... I know... so I am excited but also a bit nervous too!

So here is what I thought I would do:

It has always seemed to work for me to write in order to refocus my thoughts on positive things. I keep a journal of things I am grateful for for just this purpose. When I feel nervous I write about what I am grateful for and I don't have time to be nervous. It works!

I decided last night... after worrying about the long flight to the UK that I MUST GO to England! My grandmother would be so proud to see me there. I will see first hand where she made so many of her bears, see where my Mum played in the yard with the bears and possibly even see where my grandmother worked in the factory creating bears and other stuffed animals! How could I not take this trip?

I have decided to write... here on the blog to get myself motivated for the trip, get my focus on happy things. I am going to share with all of you the planning and all things English! We have a bit more than a year to share so it should be really fun!

So here is the first photo of the empty frame... well... a frame of photos of strangers that by the end of all this will have photos of me and my family and new friends from my trip to England.

I plan to talk about all things English as well as share photos of where I will be staying, what I plan to bring with me and possibly even practising with a tea party or two right here in Canada! I'll share recipes of English treats, English items I have in my home, places I hope to see, traditions and information on where those traditions came from etc.

I hope to have some of you writing back to share you ideas and support because I need it!

So here we go... down the rabbit hole to end up in ENGLAND... it's about bloody time!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Free Giveaway

Free giveaway now on Bingle Bears! Win Sweet Sadie or a pattern to make your own Bingle Dolly!


Comment and share till March 31st for your chance to win!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tips and Tricks Thursdays: What's in a Photograph

I feel that the way our bear sales are headed, to online sales, there is little that is more imperative to master than a good photograph! With two parents that were very much into photography I grew up around a camera. However that did not make me an expert! My photography was published a few times but of scenic shots. When I moved into the studio to shoot my bears I found out it was a whole different can of worms.

It has taken me years of learning to finally get the photos I love of my bears. It took time and money as I have taken several courses at college and even then I still felt the image was not what I wanted. The photo was great, clear and lit wonderfully for a portrait but it did not give the bear the detail and personality that I felt it had in person! For me a photo needs to tell a story and yet it must be focused on the bear at all costs. With more lessons and reading I have now mastered Photoshop to an extent that allows me to create a final image that is cohesive with my branded style. Much like the time we spend on creating a bear with a personal style I feel that the same is required in a photograph. Just the photo itself can show who the artist is before you even see the bear. There are several artist who have accomplished this and it works marvellously. The photo itself matches the branding that we are working so hard to create for our business of bear making.

I will not mention any names but I can say that I have a couple bears in my personal collection from a certain artist that I love and yet I see her trying desperately to sell her bears online and is failing. I know her bears personally and adore them because I was able to purchase them in person, but reaching an international audience is not always financially feasible for many of us. We work, have families and cannot afford to travel. That leaves us to try to reach our markets online. And if, like in this case, your photos are poor, you are loosing a sale not because the bear is not wonderfully made and fabulous quality filled with expression and personality but you are loosing out because of a poor image. If your photographs cannot engage the viewer you will find that the collector is not willing to take the chance in making that online purchase.

I keep a journal, and have since I began my career in bear making, of all the bears I have created each year. I can look back at the first journal compared to the journal from last year and see a significant difference in the images and how they reflect the bears personality. Its taken a long time to get to this point but I honestly think this is one of the most significant tools an artist can have in their arsenal. A good photo can make or break a sale! It takes some time to get it right but you can get a good photo with a point and shoot as well as a SLR so don't despair. There are a lot of websites now that can help you to master your photos and that is all FREE information. Mostly it is lighting... you need lots of light!

This is Eva... she is the very first bear I ever photographed and sold online. The lighting is not bad but the backdrop was taped up to a wall and is distracting from the bear itself. Also if you use black as your backdrop... here is a tip: black absorbs light so you will need almost double the amount of light than if you use a lighter backdrop!

This is one of my latest photos. The lighting is perfectly executed with the help of a photo editing program. I am also able to shoot my work on a patterned backdrop as I can fade and blur that background in that program. I also achieve a blurred background by using a portrait lens which helps me to keep my subject in focus but gives me a low depth of field, blurring out the background.

I'll be back next Thursday with a tip or trick for you ~ I'll see you then!

Bear Hugs 4 U Online Show

A new show has been added to the 2013 lineup and it is fast approaching! I will be exhibiting at the online show for Bear Hugs 4 U March 8th to the 10th. Please join me there! And until then as this was a bit of last minute notice to be asked to join the show... I will be working diligently to get some beautiful bears created for you all!

Big Hugs and see you soon!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Developement and Availability

After last year with my health issues - heart problem diagnosis, and all the polls I took on the blog I spent a lot of time redesigning my bears. I am thrilled with them and I know you will be too! They are the new line of Seraphim Bears - the Over-Hugged bears. All are stuffed with cotton, wool, wood wool, and granules. All are nicely aged and beautifully weighted! Created using only the very finest materials in mohair, alpaca and viscose... when have you ever seen an aged alpaca bear? Well, you will see them here.

Each bear has a "Heart Pocket" which is a pocket built right into the bear, right over the heart area and in that pocket you will receive a Lucky Canadian Penny. It is my way of sharing with you the joy of life and living. It was lucky for me to have finally been diagnosed with my heart issue and because of that doctor, finally taking the time to look at all that he could, he found the issue and was able to prescribe medications that have given me my life back. So in this little heart pocket I hope you will remember how precious life is, how much you are cared for and loved and appreciated by me and the Seraphim Bears. You may even get another little "something" that will fit into that heart pocket. But for sure there will be a Canadian Lucky penny.

And for those of you who do not know... here in Canada if you pound a penny it was considered lucky indeed... you were to make a wish on it immediately and even share the luck by then giving it away! And... now the Canadian penny is not being minted. As of last Monday the penny will no longer be a part of Canada's currency, so it is truly lucky and considered a collectors item.

Here are the first transition bears: These bears are truly one of a kind as these bears were an essential part of the transition from my traditional bear pattern to the new Over-Hugged pattern. Declan has already found his forever home and will now be living in the UK but Lavinia is in search of her new home. Please contact me if you are interested in the adoption of Lavina. I will be happy to work with you on a  layaway plan for any of my bears.

 I have been spending a lot of time on my graphic skills with my very talented husband who is teaching me his art. I hope you enjoy the new polished look of the images. It takes many hours to get things prepared behind the scenes as I take all my photos myself, which I also took several courses at college night classes for, and now I am also able to use photo editing programs to create these beautiful photos that I feel truly capture the life of each bear. It takes more than just pointing and shooting to get the personality of the bear across and knowing that you have put your trust in Seraphim Bears pushes me to always advance in my skills.

I know that purchasing a bear over the internet can be a scary thing and I want to make it as comfortable as possible. My images must be clear and the bear must come to life for you. If ever you need to see more photos or have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I will continue to develop as an artist and do my very best to be as accurate for you as possible. I want you to be able to feel the bear through your computer screen and be even more impressed when that bear arrives and you meet her/ him in person and never disappointed! I also try to be as descriptive as possible so you can visualize what my words are saying as well as looking at your monitor. I know each monitor is different and colours can appear changed from what they actually are so please read my descriptions carefully as I will always try my very best to describe what the colour is in person!

I am also beginning to design my own clothing for the bears. This has been a challenge but in a good way. My bears are created to represent the old and yet encompassing something new in my design and so the clothing must reflect that image. I have always loved the eras of the 20's, 30's and 40's and I think you will find many influences in the design of my clothing from those times and before then too, 1800's for example. I have a bear right now that I have almost completed that will be up for adoption at the Teddy Bears Worldwide show in March who is wearing a beautiful outfit that I designed, reminiscent of the 1800's. The theme for this years show is EXTRAVAGANZA so I wanted the bear to be very elaborate.

In saying that, my clothes must still envelope the style of aged appearance! I do created them in a well constructed way and not a primitive style but I still try to capture that worn appearance. I also want them to last though so I am trying to make the clothes with great attention to detail and construction. Lavinia's outfit for instance is well developed and sewn but I have purposely added a few pulls to the fabric or it would have stood out like a sore thumb on this beautifully aged bear. I also added a finishing touch on her outfit of a vintage clip on crystal earring.

There are many new developments happening here at Seraphim Bears and not just with the bears themselves. Seraphim Bears is now being developed as a business. So there has been much studying done in that aspect as well... many late nights reading books on marketing, business essentials etc. and there are possible plans in the future of taking a business developmental course. Three weeks away from home to learn all the boring government stuff... but essential to give you a professional sound place for you to adopt your bears. All this costs money and time but you are worth it to me. My bears are worth it to me too. I want you to know and trust that when you put your trust in Seraphim Bears there is far more going on here than just cutting and sewing some fabric. I want you to know that I am taking care of you in every possible way I can. That you will be looked after and treated as you should be, as a valued customer and friend.

So in that... I am off to continue in the development of Seraphim Bears. Today I will work on completing a new Tatted neck piece for Mrs. Patmore bear who will be at the Teddies Worldwide show. Learning to tat is a challenge with all that tiny thread but one day at a time and the pieces are getting more and more beautiful! Yet another handmade item that I have taken a course to learn so I can make the bears look like what I see in my minds eye and you can enjoy them in your hearts and homes.

Be back soon with more... Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know what's happening here at Seraphim Bears! The sign up box is on the right side bar!

Big Hugs from me and the Seraphim Bears

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wonderful Wednesdays: A Swap to Share

Hello Everyone:

It is about time I told you about a really fun thing I did this past year! It took a while to get to this post as with the holidays... well, you know how it goes.

Earlier last year I planned to do my first swap with a friend I met online and then met in person in Binghamton, NY at the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational, Cheryl Hutchinson of Bingle Bears. Cheryl and I have been online friends for a little while and we began creating bears around the same time too. We like each others bears, have both won our TOBY's and so, we seemed an even match and we decided to make each other a bear to do a swap. It took months of planning and it was fun writing each other back and forth finding out what each of us had in mind for our perspective swap bear.  We chose sizes and materials, colours as well as the sex of the bear and then each began to create! Each of us nervous about the outcome and how the other would feel about the bear they received! I was never worried that I would receive the perfect bear nor was Cheryl about hers but as the artist we were each very concerned that the bear we were creating be simply perfect.

Once the bears were completed we tried very hard to work out a time that we could meet in person to do the swap. I had a hotel booked for my husband and I close to the boarder that Cheryl and her husband were going to meet us at, for brunch, and we would do the swap. An unfortunate last minute change due to a work schedule and her hubby was unable to make it back in time for the meeting! Cheryl and I were both a bit disappointed but of course that is life and we tried to work out another date... but with the holidays coming fast and the winter weather fast approaching we opted to instead mail each other our bears!

We will meet this year in Binghamton for the TBAI show and bring our bears to do a little photo shoot but neither of us wanted to wait to do the swap for almost a full year! So the bears were mailed...

Cheryl, as you may know, lives with Fibromyalgia and I was recently diagnosed with my heart condition (which I am now on medication for and am stable) so when planning this swap we took our time and worked when we could... these bears are truly friendship bears and created with love for a new friendship as well as the art of the Teddy Bear!

When my bear arrived to Cheryl she was not feeling all that well and her two beautiful daughters helped her to open her gift. "Earth Angel" was named for Cheryl as I feel that even with the pain she lives with, often on a day to day basis, she still gives such beauty back to this world. Not only with her personality and being such a fabulously supportive Mom but also through her astounding bears. She is an Earth Angel indeed. Here she is with her bear created to match her home decor... in vintage style with handmade Victorian ribbonwork and vintage gown.

When my bear arrived I was Fortunate to be able to make a video for Cheryl so she would not miss the opening of the gift she created for me. I just have access to a very talented husband who can do fun stuff like this for me and I was soooo happy to be able to send this little video to Cheryl, especially after finding out that she was not feeling so well at the time. 

I absolutely adore my bear who is named "Corwin" which means Hearts Friend. He is a stunning bear and now sits in my guest room for everyone to enjoy when they come to visit! His hypnotic blue eyes melt your heart, his hand knitted scarf and handmade corduroy jumper and his super soft ivory mohair make him simply irresistible to hug! He even came with a travel buddy in his little wool felt teddy who is soooo adorable! Thanks you so much to my dear new friend for creating this stunning bear for me! I cannot tell you how much this swap touched my heart but a picture is worth a thousand words and you will see just how adored he was from the moment he arrived if you watch the video!

Here is Corwin: by Cheryl Hutchinson of Bingle Bears 
                                                                   Bingle Bears Blog

 And lastly here is the video my hubby created of me receiving this precious boy! The package came right as I was leaving the house to go into our brewery family business... I opened him there so please excuse me for not dressing up. Had I known I would be receiving such an important guest I would have at least done my hair!